Welcome back for another edition of who is more likely to become the 2019 Masters Champion!
Last time we dove into the matchup between the now No.1 golfer in the world Justin Rose and No.3 Rory McIlroy. What a heavyweight fight that was. Now we turn our attention to another big matchup.
Brooks Koepka vs. Justin Thomas
Enter the 4th and 5th best golfer in the world, according to the World Golf Rankings. Brooks Koepka is No.4 while Justin Thomas is No.5. Brooks and Justin have also been some of the highest earners on the PGA Tour the last few years.
These two both have experience winning majors which should make this one very intriguing. Without further ado, here is Koepka vs. Thomas!
Brooks Koepka’s 2019 Season
Koepka gets the nod to start out since he has three major titles over Thomas’ one. Brooks Koepka hasn’t had the best start to the new year though. Out of the 6 tournaments he has played in, Koepka has placed 24th or worse in 4 of them and was cut in another.
However, Koepka was the runner-up at the Honda Classic, falling one shot short of Keith Mitchell. So, he has had one successful outing this year which is nice.
Koepka at Augusta
Brooks hasn’t had much success at the Masters the three times he has played the tournament. From 2015 to 2017, he finished T-33, T-21, and T-11. Even in his best finish in 2017 at 11th, Koepka never cracked the top ten during any of the four rounds.
The good news for Koepka is that he still has a phenomenal stroke off the tee. He is averaging 308 yards per drive so far in 2019. Not too shabby Brooks.
Related: Golf Fitness with Brooks and DJ
Another silver lining to his chances at the Masters is his major experience. Koepka can win with the cameras in his face. We’ve seen it three times in the last few years.
Brooks won the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Open, as well as the 2018 PGA Championship, where he edged out Tiger Woods for the Wanamaker Trophy. Big stage Brooks is what you can call him.
No matter what age Tiger Woods is it must be a little intimidating with him chasing you on a Sunday at a major. Maybe 2018 Tiger Woods isn’t the same as 2000 Tiger Woods but it’s still the legend. Brooks managed to do that at Bellerive to win the PGA Championship last year.
Justin Thomas in 2019
A very solid start to the 2019 season for Justin Thomas. No wins yet but three top 3 finishes and another top 10. Those were all at bigger events this season too.
Thomas’ driving needs to be a point of emphasis if he is going to become the 2019 Masters Champion. He is currently 129th in driving accuracy, coming in at only 59.65% of fairways hit.
Related: Justin Thomas’ Longest Drive Ever
Justin has been the best scorer on the PGA Tour this season so far. He is averaging a score of 69.43 per round and averages the most birdies per round (5.14) on tour as well. Seems like the driving is the only true issue for Thomas going into the Masters.
Justin Thomas at the Masters
Like Koepka, Thomas hasn’t been the best at Augusta National. He’s finished 39th ,22nd, and 17th in his 3 outings at the most famous golf course in the world. Justin really has never been close to contending here.
Related: The Masters Hole-By-Hole Guide
Now that doesn’t mean Justin Thomas can’t contend this year because he has stepped up at majors before. Don’t forget he won the 2017 PGA Championship. He also placed in the top 10 at the 2017 U.S. Open and the 2018 PGA Championship.
Both Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka have performed in major championship over the last few years. Both players have also been mediocre in the Masters though. But if one of them is more likely to become the 2019 Masters Champion we think it is Justin Thomas.
The short game and approach shots are where Augusta is won. The driving doesn’t have to be perfect. Jordan Spieth proved that back in 2015. Spieth was 52nd in driving distance that year and T-20th in driving accuracy. He was also T-2nd in green in regulation at 75% which is a big reason he won in 2015.
Justin Thomas 2019 Masters Champion?
Thomas has had the short game to win over the last couple of years. This year, he is still proving that he has it. It is not preferred to have the short game at the Masters. It is necessary to have it.
Related: Amen Corner, A Definitive Guide
I know that Brooks Koepka has proven himself in majors but so has Thomas. Except Thomas has the short game and approach game to exceed Koepka. Brooks’ driving power won’t win him this tournament and I think Justin Thomas has a better chance at bringing his short game to the next level.
Justin Thomas also has been very solid so far in 2019 while Brooks Koepka has struggled in his 6 events. I think it’s safe to say that Thomas has the better chance among the two to become the 2019 Masters Champion.